Saturday, 1 December 2012

Leeds And Liverpool Canal Appley Bridge to Dean locks and back again.

No-one turned up to mend our lock, but it’s working again anyway. This is due more to whatever is under the gate becoming embedded in it through usage, rather than anything resembling a sensibly planned and executed clearance of said object. You can tell it’s still there by the little geyser spouting up from the bottom of the gate, but all things considered we’re happy to report that Appley Bridge lock is working a lot better than it was and losing considerably less water than a lot of other locks on the L&L, and that navigation through here is perfectly possible. Indeed Derrick, on coal boat Ambush, (a gorgeous Liverpool long boat with a huge 4 cylinder Gardiner) came through at the weekend. Their home base is at Crooke and on their way through they stopped off at our little community to deliver coal and diesel. With Ambush in the lock there was hardly any room for the water, so if they can get through anything can.
We’ve now got half a dozen bags of coal on the roof to go with all the logs.

This week’s been rather busy; as well as a short cruise up to Dean Lock for water
we had a couple of nights away from the boat. First stop was Anne’s in Chesterfield for post. Anne was going to a rag-rugging evening at the community centre so we tagged along; Dave’s had a rag rug on the go for several months (that’ll be about a year then) and it’s sort of stalled just lately, so it was good to get it out and show it to people, so to speak. He got a few new ideas so there’s a good chance it’ll get going again.

The next day we were up early and off to Southam for dentist appointments, after which we dropped in on Chloe & Shandy in Daventry. Their house is looking really homely now and we spent the evening round their table with a very pleasant indian. They’ve invited us for Christmas Eve, and we’re very much looking forward to it.

Thursday was another early start, first to a motor factors for a new battery for the car. (it’s never failed to start first go, but as Ann-Marie is doing lots of short-hop driving in the dark with everything switched on, it seemed sensible to swap it before we had to.) By 9.30 we were at the NEC for a day at the BBC Good Food Show. Ann-Marie has been quite a few times but it was Dave’s first visit. We had a whale of a time; we spent the whole day snacking on free samples and came away laden with booty. Ann-Marie is now working from 6 o-clock each night, leaving Dave on his own in the boat with nothing but a stash of yummy food to keep him company. Oh dear.

We’ve had our first day with ice on the cut this winter, although it’s due to get a bit milder next week so it won’t last. Anne’s coming for the day on Saturday, it’s Dave’s 55th birthday on Sunday, then if the weather looks ok we’re going to move to Crooke on Monday. If we get frozen in, that would be a better place to be. This is idyllic, but not very accessible.

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